Thursday, October 25, 2018

#anatomy/physiology - Keto eating and measuring weight loss

I started following a Keto way of eating (if you aren't familiar with this concept, you can look to the videos of Dr. Ken Berry, Dr. Anette Bosworth (she calls herself Dr. Boz), and Nurse Cindy (sorry - don't know her full name), among others.
One of the hard parts of researching this way of eating, there is a lot of testimonials concerning weight loss. There are a lot of claims about various amounts of weight lost, but it's hard to look at all these numbers and try to figure out what's what - someone who loses a little bit of weight vs someone who loses a lot of weight and different starting points. Is there a way to help make some sense of it? Help!
There is a way - use percentages. See below for how...

First off, I totally hear you on having to deal with a sea of numbers and trying to find a way to make sense of what is being reported.

Also, my wife and I started eating Keto a couple of months ago and so I am familiar with Keto. Further, my wife runs a Facebook support group for Keto called Keto Living for Health and so you can access support through her group, if you are looking for a Facebook group that speaks to you.

Before I start the weight discussion, I would like to point out that weight is a very difficult metric - there is so much going on inside our 100 trillion cells of our body that weight will fluctuate, and sometimes wildly, with no apparent reason. (Keep in mind that only 10% of those cells are actually you - or in other words has DNA that is your human DNA, and the other 90% is all the flora and fauna that live within us that do all the work (such as the gut flora that actually break down food we consume into the constituent nutrients that get absorbed by our intestines)).

Ok - so weight is not a reliable indicator on a day-to-day basis to see what is happening inside your body. However, every house has a weight scale and it's easy to use, so oftentimes people will use day-to-day weight change as a way to track progress. However, as you lose size, weight will start to follow.

With all that understood about weight, let's now talk about measuring weight loss.

Let's talk about my weight loss. I started at 87.5 kg and I recently measured my progress at 78.7 kg. How much have I lost? Well... we can do the subtraction:

87.5 - 78.7 = 8.8 kg

And I'll note I lost that over the course of 10 or so weeks.

Ok... 8.8 kg isn't a lot compared to some of the reported weight losses online. But 8.8 kg is actually quite a bit compared to where I started. If I divide my weight loss by my starting weight and then multiply by 100, that will give a percentage weight loss:

8.8 / 87.5 x 100 = 10.0

This number is my percentage - I've lost 10.0%. To have lost 10% of my weight in 10 weeks - that's pretty amazing.

Ok - so let's do another person. Let's say they start at 350 pounds and they now weight 330 pounds. What percentage of their body weight have they lost?

First we look at how much weight was lost:

350 - 330 = 20 pounds.

For someone who is 330 pounds, they may think that they've "only lost" 20 pounds and might not be happy with that number. But let's look at the percentage they've lost:

Divide 20 by 350 and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage:

20 / 350 x 100 = 5.7%

A weight loss of 5.7% of their starting weight is amazing.

I hope this helps!


And now time for shameless plugs - this blog has other "household math" topics and opinion pieces - I invite you to look around.

I have another resource that is an online inter-connected textbook. It's focused pretty much on math topics right now but will continue to expand outward called Fact-orials.


And as always, questions and comments are always welcome!

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